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Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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Have known him OR to have made him known

Bereshit 18:19 starts with the words 'For I have known him (כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו)', the Sefaria website translates these words as 'For I have singled him out', Rashi as 'I know him intimately'. In line ...
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3answers
58 views

What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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0answers
55 views

Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
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0answers
51 views

קול ענות אנכי - The sound of selfishness?

When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the knowledge that his people corrupted themselves (dealt corruptly) - quickly turned aside the way which HaShem commanded them, making a molten calf, ...
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29 views

Change of the heart

In some places (like Mishlei 3:3 and 7:3) our hearts are compared to luchot (tablets) on which one should inscribe the words of HaShem. In another places our hearts should be circumcised: Devarim 10:...
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12 views

Link between rejoice and redemption

Once I found a commentary which made a wordplay, connection or link between rejoicing (גִּיל) and redemption (גָּאַל). I liked the idea that redemption and rejoicing would go hand in hand. Is there ...
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0answers
25 views

To serve, the biggest command?

Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall ...
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54 views

Is the creation of Adam HaRishon as both male and female to be taken literally?

After seeing an amazing article from National Geographic about a recently observed bird (a cardinal) that naturally manifested as half male and half female (both external sexual characteristics and ...
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0answers
15 views

What went wrong when making the golden calf? [duplicate]

Looking at the chet ha'egel,the sin of making the (golden and molten) calf I noticed somethings which made me ponder on this sin: what went wrong?! (i.e. what caused them to sin in the first place, ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Evil inclination compared to a strange god within man

I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” ...
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1answer
41 views

Three golden calfs

What are the similarities and differences between the story of the egel hazahav (golden calf) (Ki Sisa chapter 32) and the story of the two golden calves made by Jeroboam (I Melachim 12:28)?
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28 views

Our I, Our Self leading us to separation and idolatry

Looking at the words: "Anochi HaShem Eloheichem - אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ " (Shemot 20:2 & 20:5, Devarim 5:6 & 5:9)" I noticed that on the one hand HaShem emphasizes that we should serve ...
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0answers
14 views

These words written on tablets

I would like to give a quick intro for the question I have: Shemot 31:18 and 32:15 are about the Shnei Luchot Even (Ha’Avanim), two stone tablets, Luchot Ha’edut (serving as a witness). In Devarim ...
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1answer
36 views

Three things being handed over Tablets, Torah and the Mitzvah?

HaShem tells Moshe: " וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהוֹרֹתָם (Shemot 24:12) - *And I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the Mitzvah ...
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0answers
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Clarification on the Mann scattering pattern [duplicate]

Following the question on the Mann miracles I would like to understand one specific miracle: how exactly did Mann fall closer to the righteous for them than for the wicked: Did it have name tags ...
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0answers
21 views

English Translations of Major Yechezkel/Ezekiel Commentaries

Shalom! I have been looking for some time and I cannot seem to find any resources in English. Are there any translations (into English) of the Yechezkel/Ezekiel commentaries of the following rabbis? ...
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1answer
34 views

Comparing the Heart and Luchot

I was reading in Mishlei the other day and noticed that our hearts are sometimes compared to tablets, and that on it the Words of HaShem should be inscribed. This reminded me of Yirmiyahu who states ...
4
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1answer
43 views

A sound of distress, while dancing around the golden calf?

After Moshe received the Aseret HaDevarim he came down from the mountain and heard a lot of noise coming from amongst the people that awaited his arrival. The people had just built a golden calf, and ...
3
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1answer
84 views

Will Olam Haba eventually end?

I heard a while back that according to the kabalists, there is a big dispute whether Olam Haba is forever or whether it will eventually end and all the souls will cease to exist as hinted in the verse ...
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Luchot HaBrit; first time receiving Torah passively and a second time actively

Once I read an article which talked about Exodus 31:18 and compared it with Exodus 34:1. In the first verse G-d gave the tablets (His work, His writing, 32:16), the second verse teaches Moshe needed ...
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2answers
39 views

Can a soul be redeemed, based on Psalm 49?

Psalm 49:8: "אָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ׃ וְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם׃ וִיחִי־עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת׃ " teaches that (all the) wealth ...
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1answer
37 views

Different words for “a corner” in Tanach

There appear to be three different words in Tanach that are translated as "a corner": Pinah (shmot 26:2) Kanaf (Shmu'el 1 24:4) Keren (I haven't found one yet, but this site says that its use as "...
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0answers
78 views

Where in the writings of the Vilna Gaon does he discuss how Rashi & Tosfot each explain a Talmudic “sugiya?”

Two days ago, I asked this question in the name of the Vilna Gaon. I was informed that the answer may be [also] found in the writings of Rav Chaim Volozhin. So, I re-phrased the question. My ...
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0answers
23 views

What were the additional 40 plagues? [duplicate]

There's an argument between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer, how many plagues there actually were in Egypt. R. Akiva says 50 and Rabbi Eliezer says 40. Do we actually know what were the additional ...
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0answers
43 views

Has anyone learned the Sheiltot of R. Achai Gaon with the Netziv's commentary?

Would you recommend it? I really enjoy learning anything with the Netziv and I like the idea of halachic midrashim on the parsha with some ethical messages. It seems like it's a great way to learn ...
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0answers
44 views

Why did the sea travelers in Yonah 1 proselytize instead of becoming righteous gentiles?

We read in Yonah 1 about the men who traveled on a boat with Yonah. When the sea ceased storming we read: "And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they made sacrifices to the Lord and made vows."...
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1answer
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Using the name יהוה [duplicate]

HaShem teaches Moshe the following in Shemot 3:15: כֹּה-תֹאמַר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם; זֶה-שְּׁמִי ...
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0answers
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The usage of the title HaShem instead of other titles [duplicate]

One doesn’t pronounce יהוה, but with so many titles to be found in the Tenach for referring to יהוה, why would we refer to Him as ‘HaShem’ then? Why not stick with Adonai, Anochi, El Shadai etc. like ...
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1answer
72 views

List of which Rishonim wrote on each Masechta?

I would like to know if anyone has made a comprehensive list/chart of which Rishonim wrote on each masechta in shas. Such a list would include details such as: Masechtos where Rashi is not rashi, the ...
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0answers
44 views

Sources from Tanach for Praying in Minyan

I’ve got a question about people praying together. Hence from were in the Tanach, from which verse(s) or context, did the idea or concept for group/communal/collective prayer developed from? Or is ...
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50 views

Moving things around “opposite the gap” in an enclosure on Shabbat

On Shabbat there are mitigating structures whose presence can enclose an area physically, constituting a necessary ingredient in allowing movement of objects within that area. There are several ...
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1answer
48 views

make atonement - אכפרה

Shemot 32:30 teaches us that Moshe said to the people: “You have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make atonement for you.” Bereshit 32:20 Likewise teaches ...
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0answers
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Did Ralbag's predecessors help him, or make things more difficult for him?

At the end of his commentary to Parshat Bereishit, Ralbag writes that he had difficulty composing his commentary to this parshah because the earlier commentaries practically pushed him away from ...
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0answers
56 views

What does “Esav soneh l'Ya'akov” means?

There is this famous statement (B"R 78:9): Esav Soneh l'Ya'akov. Although the Tenach states Esav bore a grudge (Genesis 27:41) in his heart, and showed great animosity in wanting to kill Ya'akov, ...
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1answer
51 views

Your name shall be 'Yisrael', but what does it mean and why so?

In relation to another question of mine I would like to know what the name Yisrael really means. It literally says Ya'akov is now names Yisrael because he has struggled AND has overcome. I heard ...
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27 views

Seeing your face has been like?

Ya'akov finally has met Esav after many years, and against all odds Esav hugs and kisses him. Ya'akov words seem to imply that Esav has granted him favor/grace/mercy. And then in Genesis 33:10 he says:...
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2answers
118 views

Why did Ralbag's commentary to Leviticus take so much longer than the other books of the Torah?

At the end of each book in his Commentary to the Torah, Ralbag gives us the date he completed it. At the end of the book of Genesis he tells us that it was completed in October of 1329: והנה היתה ...
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3answers
123 views

Did Noach have sefarim from previous generations?

I am pretty sure I saw one of the Mefarshim in the Oz Vehadar Mikraos Gedolos (or a Midrash), that said that Noach learned from a sefer/(or sefarim) from previous generation(s). (I think it might ...
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1answer
50 views

Won’t let go unless you bless me

In the moment Yaakov is wrestling a adversary he says: ‘לא אשלחך כי אם ברכתני’, I wondered if there are any commentaries which reads this differently. I noticed that Rabbi Hirsch connects the root ...
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1answer
55 views

The fear and anxiety of Yaakov before meeting Eisav

Bereshit 32:8: "וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ וַיַּחַץ אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּאן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָר וְהַגְּמַלִּים לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃" "Jacob was greatly frightened; in his ...
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4answers
134 views

What does Judaism say about the Original sin?

DISCLAIMER: I am not Jewish nor am I a follower of Judaism. I have read the Torah, prophets and writings with Rashi commentary, also have read some of the Midrash, and read/watch some of today's ...
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42 views

Talking with/against the dead [duplicate]

If a beloved one has passed away, is it allowed or prohibited to talk against this soul? For example is it allowed to say goodbey, or to say you will mis him/her? I know there is a prohibition against ...
4
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1answer
38 views

New heaven and earth?

Yeshayahu 65:17 (66:22): "כִּי־הִנְנִי בוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם חֲדָשִׁים וָאָרֶץ חֲדָשָׁה וְלֹא תִזָּכַרְנָה הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת וְלֹא תַעֲלֶינָה עַל־לֵב׃ " writes about a new heaven and earth. Although I’m not ...
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0answers
26 views

מלא יד - full hand, meaning?

I've a question about the combination of words מלא יד as shown in verses like Shemot 29:35, 32:29, Vayikra 8:33, Bamidbar 3:3, 1 Divrei HaYamim 29:5, 2 Divrei HaYamim 6:4, 6:15, 13:9, 29:31 etc... ...
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0answers
18 views

Any connection between Isaiah 40:3 and the story of Ya'akov's name changed to Yisrael?

Regards the name changing from Ya'akov to Yisrael the Kli Yakar states that the name Yisrael comes from the word Yashar El, to be straight with G-d. This transformation is compared to Yeshayahu 40:4 '...
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1answer
34 views

Yom HaKaseh - Rosh HaShanah

Is it true that Rosh HaShanah is also called Yom HaKeseh, meaning “The Day of the Hiding” or “the Hidden Day.” I noticed that it’s called this way because of Tehillim 81. Is it true it’s also called ...
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0answers
23 views

Passing thru the covenant as idolaters do?

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Pasuk (Devorim 29,11): "לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית ה"א וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר ה"א כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃" to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, ...
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0answers
17 views

Grouping of women in the beginning of Parashat Nitzavim

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Psukim (Devarim 29,9), grouping the Jewish Nation into two parts: "אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה"א רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם ...
1
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1answer
90 views

With what and why did Ya’akov struggle?

Many times I came across teachings which stated that Ya’akov Avinu wrestled (struggled) with what could be described as something representative of Esav (I.e. Edom, Adam); of which it is said it was ...
4
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3answers
82 views

Angel helping to find a proper wife?

At one point in time Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to go out and search a wife for his son. In Bereshit 24:7 Avraham tells him that HaShem will send His messenger (malach) before him.. Eliezer ...